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Buffalo Bills Name Joe Brady Interim Replacement For Ken Dorsey

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In the midst of a season that was trending below expectations on Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills made a significant move by firing offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and appointing quarterbacks coach Joe Brady as his temporary replacement.

Coach Sean McDermott stressed that the decision was made in order to “find consistent production” and to feel more confident and energized.

The Bills had a season-high four drops and turned the ball over four times in their loss to the Denver Broncos on “Monday Night Football,” which was hours prior to the action. However, ESPN Analytics notes that Dorsey’s dismissal is also a reaction from the Bills, who are currently 5-5, out of the playoff picture in a competitive AFC, and have the toughest schedule left.

“There’s been times when we have moved the ball and scored points, but those times, I believe, have become few and far between,” McDermott said Tuesday afternoon. “I can point to the Miami game [in Week 4], which I felt very good about, obviously, we scored on just about, if not every, drive there. But since that Miami game, and really, before that, there were some times when I didn’t feel like we were moving the ball well enough and scoring points.

“So, it’s just — it’s the whole thing, right? The whole body of work. It’s not just off of two games or four games. It’s the entire season at this point.”

In 2022, Dorsey was promoted to Buffalo’s offensive coordinator following the hiring of Brian Daboll as the New York Giants head coach. After Daboll left, Josh Allen, the team’s star quarterback, recommended Dorsey to take over as quarterback coach of the Bills.

However, since Week 5, the Bills have struggled to put together drives and find offensive consistency under Dorsey’s leadership as offensive coordinator (after 12% ended in a turnover through the first four games). Since then, 21% of drives have resulted in a turnover, last in the NFL. Turnovers have been a big problem for Buffalo’s offense, which hasn’t scored more than 25 points since Week 4. Allen leads the NFL with 14 turnovers and 11 interceptions.

With 33 turnovers since Dorsey took over as coordinator, Allen has six more than the next player, Trevor Lawrence, and has two more than the next closest players, Desmond Ridder and Mac Jones.

The Bills’ offense appears to be among the best in the NFL statistically; it is ranked third in yards per play (6.0), second in completion percentage (70.3%), and third in offensive efficiency per play. However, despite having a reasonably healthy offense, the Bills’ reality is that they weren’t consistently performing at a high level, and since the offense deteriorated after Week 5, frustration was evident.

Following their spectacular offensive displays in Weeks 2-4, when they scored at least 37 points a game, scoring points, especially in the first half, started to become an issue. The Bills fell behind early and frequently as a result.

The Bills offense has averaged seven points per game in the first half of games since Week 5 (fourth fewest). It leads the league in turnovers since Week 5 with 13, having committed a league-high eight in the first two-quarters of those games.

Even Buffalo’s best players have had inconsistent games. Prior to the season, Allen and the Bills discussed their desire for the two-time Pro Bowler to take fewer hits and to use the football more wisely.

Actually, that seemed to reduce Allen’s effectiveness, particularly when opposing defenses did not have to worry about the threat of him running as frequently.

There were also few splash plays; Allen tied Jordan Love for the most interceptions this season with 10 on throws of 10 yards or more. Since Week 6, he’s completed 15 of 38 passes (39.5%, 22nd) involving 15 or more air yards.

McDermott has also expressed a desire for the offense to include the threat of a running game. However, Buffalo hasn’t been consistent either, as they have run for fewer than 100 yards in three of their last six games.

James Cook, a running back for the Bills, just finished with 109 yards against the Broncos.

In addition, the defense has been emphasized. Despite major injuries, the defense has adjusted, and as a result, the Bills have the third-worst starting field position margin since Week 5 (-5.9).

In his first six games of the season, wide receiver Stefon Diggs of the Bills recorded five receptions for 100 yards. Since then, he has not had one, and on Monday, he had a season-low three receptions for 34 yards on five targets.

For the first four years of his career, Allen had Daboll as his offensive coordinator before he joined Dorsey.

Brady worked as an offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers from 2020 to 2021, when he was fired by Matt Rhule during the 2021 season. According to McDermott, the team is still figuring out how to handle hiring a new quarterbacks coach and determining Brady’s location on game days.

Brady oversaw the passing game at LSU in 2019 before joining the Panthers, a year that saw Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow win the Heisman Trophy and lead the Tigers to the national championship.

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